Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gong Xi Fa Chai - Happy New Year

Natalia, Alexei, James, Sharon, and I count down to Chinese New Year

I joined my friends last night for a wonderful dinner followed by drinks down on Singapore's Boat Quay area. It was Chinese New Years Eve last night, and we all decided to be part of the spectacle. I had never experienced Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore and neither had my friends, so the stage was now set.

From Boat Quay, we walked down to Singapore's Chinatown, where seemingly the entire population of Singapore had gathered to ring in the Lunar New Year. Colorful lanterns beckoned good fortune, happiness, and wealth for the new year. Then at midnight, thousands of firecrackers were lit and exploded with the most thunderous noise I had ever heard. Fireworks continued skyward above the gathered crowd on the streets. The Chinese believe that the fireworks and their loud sound will frighten away evil spirits and preserve good fortune and luck for the new year.

It was fun to be a part of this annual tradition and hey... who can argue with two days worth of public holidays that will keep me from working on Monday and Tuesday!


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